Gentle Cycle S/T LP – (self-released) 2017
Earlier this year, San Jose’s very own Gentle Cycle, released a tasteful take on 60s psych revival on their debut self-titled LP, “The Gentle Cycle”. Recorded in the top studio of the notorious Cafe Stritch, the band consists of Derek See on lead guitar and vocal, Maxwell Borkenhagen on rhythm, Todd Flanagan on bass, and Craig Heitkam on drums.
As a whole, the albums keeps a consistent lo-fi drive and sound, showing their eclectic taste of psychedelic music; ranging from garage, acid, folk, classic psychedelia and even dipping into some shoegaze drones and distortions. The record’s track listing is very calculated, continually bringing a new sound with each song keeping the listener’s ear fresh and attuned. The main conductor of the changing sound is Derek See’s lead guitar and songwriting complimented perfectly by the band. Starting off with a classic psych tune, “Follow Light” and gradually getting more and more experimental. Such as, the classic psych sound on “Love is the Plan” spiraling into an acidic pool of guitars and melodic distortion. These tend to be my favorite tracks, showcasing a signature sound and an understanding of what they’re pulling off as a band; a lo-fi, distorted wall of sound. My personal favorites are “Far Beyond” and “Shells & Spells” with their invigorating tempos & rhythms. While the band has their crunchy guitars and garage drums, the last tracks on A and B deliver a much more folk and acoustic sound, with “Way To Decay” and “New Day”.
Unfortunately, the band has decided to part ways, but the Gentle Cycle will forever remain a San Jose gem and staple, waiting to be uncovered by future generations with this release. Only 300 copies were made, so grab it if you can!